Hilaire Camille (1916-2004)
Versatile French artist of the XX Century, Camille Hilaire has been distinguished in the fields of oil painting, watercolor and tapestry. Despite his modest origins, the artist found soon a way to dedicate himself to art: he attended the public library in Metz (his hometown) where he was inspired by Holbein and Dürer’s art; Hilaire then began to paint subjects from nature influenced by Dürer’s paintings and engravings. His talent was then noticed by Jean Giono and Nicolas Untersteller – the future director of the Paris’ École des Beaux Arts – who invited him to move to the French capital; here he attended the Academy, where he also met André Lhote; he began to exhibit his works, receiving several honours among the intellectual circle of the city. After Second World War, he obtained a place as Drawing Professor at the National Art School in Nancy and thanks to the economic stability guaranteed by his profession, he dedicated his free time to travel and to exhibit of his art, characterized by references from Post-Cubism and figurativism, with bright colors as the dominant component of the works. Hilaire is considered one of the greatest French painters of the second part of XX Century and many monographs have been dedicated to his art.